The Seven Currencies of Entrepreneurship

Friday, July 18, 2014 by Camryn Walton

At our most recent Business Leader Meeting, Gerry Hays—Principal at Slane Capital and CEO of Better Retail—provided a unique and incredibly thought provoking perspective on building a business (and gave some of the best advice I’ve ever heard).

While many would argue that making money is the ultimate goal of starting a business, Gerry simply views money as a tool and a resource for getting things done.

According to Gerry, these are the seven alternative currencies entrepreneurs should be striving for:

  1. Relationships - Don’t create relationships for financial reasons, but rather pick your relationships first. Relationships over money, always.

  2. Service - Be willing to help other people be successful. Know what it is like to serve if you want others to serve you someday.

  3. Time - The only thing you can’t recover or replace is time. Value your time and be strategic with what you do with that time.

  4. Experience - It’s a hard and painful process to truly stretch yourself, but you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Experience intense and uncomfortable situations. Once you do, there is nothing that will come your way that you can’t deal with.

  5. Health - Take care of yourself physically and mentally. Be energetic and that energy will be contagious -- people want to be around exciting and energetic individuals.

  6. Gratefulness - Learn to appreciate other people. Think about how grateful you are for your opportunities. The more grateful you are as a person, the bigger you are as an entrepreneur.

  7. Learning - You can never stop learning. The more open to learning you are, the more accelerated you will be. You learn best when you fail, so don’t be afraid of failing. Surround yourself with people who will embrace your failures.

After articulating these seven currencies, Gerry explained one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard: there is no such thing as a big moment in the world of entrepreneurship. Instead, characterize your success in small moments and small wins. Life is full of small moments, and it’s all about how you handle those moments—engage people, recognize opportunity, and make good decisions and you will be successful.

Thank you, Gerry, for spending your Monday night sharing your experiences and inspiring a group of ambitious entrepreneurs.

Building a Foundation

Monday, June 9, 2014 by Mary Beth Kowalinski

From starting a sophisticated lawn mowing business in middle school that helped put him through college to becoming the CEO of Vinculum, a telecommunications technology firm, Jim Jay has had a successful career. As you might expect, there were some high highs and some low lows along the way. During a recent Orr Fellowship Business Leader meeting, Jim, who serves on the Orr Fellowship Board of Directors, shared his story.

At the heart of Jim’s story is a solid framework from which he builds his life. As Jim described it, imagine a steel tube with five circles that layer upon the next to create a solid piece of metal.  

At the core of his foundation is faith. Next comes family, which consists of his wife Marcia and their four fun-loving boys Carter, Cooper, Griffin, and Fletcher. Fulfilment is the next circle as he aims to understand his gift set and determine how to utilize it accordingly. Then comes fun. Jim makes sure to enjoy time with family and friends outside of day-to-day work life. And finally, fitness.

These five F’s work for Jim and his family, but he didn’t share his foundation so that we could all repeat it in our lives. Each of us will have our own story and a different foundation on which to build that story. Jim challenged the Orr Fellows to figure out our own individual core, the aspect of our lives that is steadfast and foundational. From there, we should have a basis to build our lives and career. This foundation is what will help see us through all of the ups and downs.

Jim is a Butler University graduate who loves the city of Indianapolis, reading the Wall Street Journal, and fixing up homes. He believes in empowering the people around him and that there is often more to learn through failure than success.

We are grateful to be able to learn from inspiring leaders like Jim Jay who serve on the Orr Fellowship board of directors. Thanks for the advice on how to build a foundation for success as we launch our careers! 

10 Career-building Quotes from Indy CEO Ann Murtlow

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 by Eric Murphy

On April 30, the Orr Fellows were privileged to meet with an experienced local CEO, Ann Murtlow of the United Way of Central Indiana. The Fellows showed up at United Way’s office on Meridian Street with empty stomachs and eager minds, and they left having satisfied both. Crackers, chips, cookies, and soft drinks were offered bountifully, but the real nourishment came from Murtlow’s golden nuggets of career building advice. 

Murtlow, a graduate of Lehigh University who majored in Chemical Engineering, started her career as a Design Engineer at Bechtel Power Corporation. As a driven and management-oriented individual, Murtlow quickly climbed the career ladder and took on leadership positions in a wide variety of industries, from multi-national energy corporations to locally-focused community foundations. Murtlow became rooted in Indiana during her nine year tenure as CEO of Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) and has sat at the helm of the United Way of Central Indiana since April 2013. Her broad range of managerial expertise, international business exposure, female-in-business perspective and natural leadership abilities have provided her with a vast expanse of wisdom relevant to the lives of Orr Fellows—and she shared it all generously last week.

Here are 10 of Murtlow’s tastiest golden nuggets (of wisdom):

  1. People don’t leave their jobs, they leave their bosses.
  2. In a small company, it’s all about team effort. You do what needs to be done.
  3. The best organizations don’t make the same mistake twice.
  4. There is no substitute for hard work.
  5. Always make sure you’re outside your comfort zone. Volunteer for stuff. Your growth is only limited by your willingness to volunteer.
  6. If you hire good people and you micro-manage them, they will leave you as soon as they can. Hire good people, set high standards, and then let them go get it done.
  7. Hard decisions are really necessary. But when you become a leader, your first allegiance is to your company.
  8. If you treat people like they’re trustworthy, they will be trustworthy.
  9. You’re the sum of your experiences. You take something away from every experience you have.
  10. People really want to have a meaningful role. They want responsibility. People all over the world are very motivated by that.

Murtlow also recommended a few good reads on leadership: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, and The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.

Ann Murtlow has spent a good deal of her life working hard to make organizations better from the top down. Like many Orr Fellows, working on long-term solutions to big problems is something that has always enticed her. The Indianapolis community, as well, is one of her passions. As an outsider to Indiana who came here for business, Murtlow reflected on her decision to be here for the long-term: “As the CEO of IPL, a regulated utility company, I had to get involved in the community to be successful. I only planned to be here for maybe 5 years, but then I fell in love with the community.”

Indianapolis is proud to have leaders like Ann Murtlow. Many thanks to her for sharing her time and wisdom with the Orr Fellowship!

Announcing the Orr Fellowship Class of 2014!

Thursday, April 17, 2014 by Katie Hayes

It's crazy to think that the Orr Fellowship hosted Finalist Day over three months ago. The day marks the culmination of an exciting three month recruitment process and the potential beginning of an even more exciting two-year experience in the Orr Fellowship. 

Twenty-four host companies, representing some of the city's fastest growing tech startups, and 50 fellow hopefuls, representing the best and brightest graduating seniors from Indiana and Ohio universities, were present at Finalist Day at the Regions Tower downtown.  Current fellows were present to engage the fellow hopefuls in active discussion on their experiences with their host companies and the fellowship. Needless to say, there was quite a bit of energy in the room.  Floor to ceiling windows around the building flooded the room with the hustle and bustle of downtown, and images of the opportunities to come.

On Finalist Day morning, Scott Brenton always says that your interviews are very much like first dates.  You either feel the chemistry and connection, or you don't.  Our host companies were feeling the chemistry that day.  Though host companies arrived to Finalist Day anticipating to hire one fellow, many left having extended offers to two or three fellow hopefuls.  This surge in chemistry has given us our biggest ever Orr Fellowship class.  

38 new fellows will now join us and their respective host companies in June and today we are ready to release their names and extend to them a well-deserved congratulations! 

New Fellow Name

Host Company

Ben Roess Angie's List
Daniela Tomas Angie's List
Tanner Halbig Angie's List
Chelsea Shew Apparatus
Michael Welling BidPal
Brendan Heinz BidPal
Andrea Massimilian CloudOne
Annie Kennedy Courseload
Aaron Harrison Courseload
William Boeckmann DigitalRelevance
Megan Schuman DigitalRelevance
Kevin Kidd
Caroline Eberle Interactive Intelligence
Erin Whittaker Interactive Intelligence
Erika Krukowski KA+A
Brooke Gallagher KSM Consulting
Lindsay Dun KSM Consulting
Joe Rust KSM Consulting
Abigail Pautz LDI
Caitlin Hickey Milhaus
Kevin Stewart Milhaus
Kendall Kilander One Click Ventures
Camryn Walton One Click Ventures
Alexis Kaiser Orbis Education
Kyle Pendergast OurHealth
Phillip Tarnowski pan Testing
Nathan Bosse PERQ
Emily Richards PERQ
Kristin Jonason RICS Software
Tyler Williams Right On Interactive
Drew Songer SproutBox
Sara Napierkowski Teradata
Ian Brown Teradata
Thomas Marvel TinderBox
Marcus Wadell TinderBox
Adam Johnson WebLink
Alex Davis WebLink

Branding Yourself

Thursday, April 17, 2014 by Drew Beechler

Working for a time on the Content Marketing & Research team at ExactTarget, I had a unique opportunity to see the inner-workings of thought leadership initiatives. Being a part of the overarching Marketing and Thought Leadership organizations, the Content Marketing team is centered around developing thought leadership and industry expertise for ExactTarget. The principles involved with promoting thought leadership and industry expertise for brands, though, can be just as important and beneficial on your personal brand.

Especially as a young professional, it’s vital to begin to build your own personal brand. Below are a few key points and starters for developing a professional personal brand. By no means am I a thought leader or industry expert, but these principles are taken from my time working on the Content Marketing team, working for Kyle Lacy co-author of Branding Yourself, and from a little bit of personal experience.

Develop Your Brand Focus
What do you want to be known for? What are you passionate about? What areas do you want people to think of you first when they are looking for an answer or solution?

I recently went through this process for myself as I relaunched my own personal website and blog. I decided on four central interests and passions in my life for which I want the content I personally publish externally to revolve around:
●    The intersection of marketing and technology.
●    Startups.
●    Disruptive technology trends (which happen to be revolving around mobile technology currently).
●    Indianapolis.

This personal focus provides consistency and focus on a few key interests where you would like to be seen as a “thought leader.” This also allows you to concentrate on a certain area you would like to become an expert on. It focuses your time toward that “10,000 hour” mark of becoming an expert Malcolm Gladwell talks about in Outliers.

After deciding what you want your brand to focus around, you have to start producing something to promote that focus. This is a significant part. It’s important to have perseverance as well and keep at it. Keep producing new “content.” Whether it is blog posts, posts on other blogs or news sites, a book, whitepapers, pictures, art, videos, or social media posts, produce it. This brings me to my next point: social media.

Social Media
Social media can be both a blessing and a curse. It will either detract from your brand or compliment it. One of the first steps would be to cleanse your social media and online identity from drunken tirades and escapades from college (or last night) and any other posts that would embarrass you. 

Social media can also compliment your own personal brand very well and be an avenue you use to promote your own content and personal brand. On my own personal Twitter handle (@drewbeechler) I typically tweet articles, stats, and insights concerning most of the areas of focus I mentioned earlier. I also love random, funny tweets and tweets about personal aspects of my life. It’s important to still have a personality and personable.

Social media is inherently personal - and it should be. Social media marketers will advise brands all the time to use the 80/20 rule where 20% of your posts promote your brand while 80% of your posts are content that provides a Youtility to your audience and engages them. I think it’s even more important for your personal brand. I suggest adopting a 60/20/20 rule where 60% of your posts are useful to your audience and giving them engaging information, 20% should be personal, relatable posts about yourself and showcase personality, and 20% (or less) can be self-promotion.

The Orr Fellowship has been the perfect avenue for this for everyone involved. If you aren’t a part of a formal program like the Orr Fellowship, though, there are plenty of ways to build that personal network. Find like-minded people and where they meet or gather. Groups like Lean Startup Circles, Verge, Indianapolis Social Media, EDGE Mentoring, and others provide both formal and informal aspects of networking and mentoring. Get involved in groups like these and build relationships with others with similar aspirations. And if you’re still in college, you should also check out and apply to the Orr Fellowship next fall.

These quick topics are just a couple avenues for building your personal brand and developing a professional online identity. For anyone interested more in building their personal brand, I would recommend reading Kyle Lacy and Erik Deckers’ book Branding Yourself.

Fighting for Perspective

Thursday, April 17, 2014 by Austin Zartman

The first rule of fight club is that you do not talk about fight club. The second rule of fight club is that you DO NOT talk about fight club. Too bad. I’m here to tell you about fight club. More specifically, I’m talking about a group of Orr Fellows that gets together after work to test their mettle against a never-tiring 100-pound bag and whichever sadistic Trainer of the Day is commanding the mike (please not Rob).

Fight club begins with a high-intensity cardio session that will make even the most seasoned athlete sweat followed by 8 three-minute rounds of boxing that will leave your shoulders, arms, and hands aching for days, and ends with a core workout that will send painful reminders with any subsequent laugh or deep breath. By the end, we’re sweat-drenched, dead tired, barely-functional human beings. It’s a uniquely terrible sight as we each become a version of ourselves that hardly anyone ever gets to see. 

So why do we put ourselves through the daily torment of a workout that beats us down into gross, smelly versions of ourselves in front of a group of people that normally sees us in the best light? We do it because it gives us the chance to remove our carefully crafted masks and see behind everyone else’s. It gives us a different perspective so that we can build a more complete understanding of each other. 

In normal life, it’s easy to hide behind a well-groomed appearance and business casual attire. But there’s no place to hide when you’re standing in a pool of sweat fighting to catch your breath during the eighth round of relentless punching. In that moment, you’re struggling with everyone else, striving to get through the three minutes. There’s no way to impress your peers other than to push through the pain and finish the round.

Fight club is an equalizer, but certainly not the only one. There are plenty of other opportunities that allow you to see your peers, co-workers, family, and friends in a different light. Some of my favorites: biking the Monon, grabbing beers at Flat 12, eating somewhere new, dancing at Taps & Dolls until 3AM, attending a Pacers game, competing in trivia, road-tripping to Canada, and debating the superiority of Rock Lobster over Casbah. Seek out those situations that let you discover the facets of people that you never knew existed. You’ll be rewarded with deeper, more genuine relationships that you can imagine... even if it means you have to punch, kick, grunt, groan, scream, or cry to get there.

Race Relations at the Crossroads of America

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 by Elizabeth White

Three seconds: the amount of time it took me to leap at the opportunity to attend the IndyHub Exchange Leadership Event -- “How Race Influences Perspective.”

For as long as I can remember, discussions surrounding diversity– race, religion, gender, artistic, you name it –have enthralled me. It’s been two years since I stepped into a classroom, and while life is always a macro-classroom with micro-opportunities to learn, this event allowed me to take an hour to fully immerse myself in an important topic with a diverse group of individuals passionate about similar issues. 

Through the initial ice breaker, we were reminded how forces outside of our control, such as the economic wealth of our parents, cultural immersions we were afforded while growing up, and positive mentors to whom we were exposed, affect our opportunity trajectory. As the event progressed, it became very apparent that being black, African-American, or otherwise non-white in our society too often means you have experienced more compounding setbacks than your white counterpart. The word “race” makes people uncomfortable. For many, it’s because it is the word from which racism derives, and it forces us to confront the salient historical events that are unavoidably associated with violence, ignorance, and emotional pain. For others yet, it is a reminder of everyday life and the struggles faced. Race naturally differentiates us from (or unites us with) others, and is almost always associated with controversy. Recently, I’ve experienced a trend that, however well-intended, attempts to make race a non-factor by pretending that it doesn’t exist. The goal may be to prove we are all equal from a human rights perspective, which we are of course, but if we attempt to make race obsolete, we overlook what makes us unique as individuals and powerful as a society. To recognize differences, and collaborate through diversity is to cultivate a more empathetic, more self-aware community. We can only move forward if we know where we come from.

Though Indianapolis is not typically celebrated for its diversity,  that doesn’t mean it isn’t diverse. As a state known for being the ‘Crossroads of America’ we, as Hoosiers, are at a cross roads on how we approach race relations. Do we make race a non-factor by pretending it doesn’t exist, or do we celebrate our differences in order to appreciate our uniqueness as a community? The forum today was a welcome reminder that Hoosiers are host to many different perspectives, all of which make Indianapolis the vibrant, burgeoning community we all know and love. Ideas, innovation, and shared community await, if only we have the courage to reach out to one another and learn more about what is happening in our own backyards.  

A huge thank you to Leroy Lewis (Indiana Assessors Office) and Mali Jeffers (Mosaic City), for moderating the event and for vetting such crucial conversations with grace and poise.

Interested in attending events that connect you with other individuals around Indianapolis? Head to to find more information about upcoming events and ways to get involved.


Governor Pence's Keys to Leadership: Servant Leader Mindset, Vision and Character

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by Ellen Funke
The Orr Fellowship was privileged to spend an afternoon in January with prominent state leaders. Governor Mike Pence was joined by Victor Smith (Secretary of Commerce for the state of Indiana) and Eric Doden (President of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation) to talk with Orr Fellows about Indiana, their vision for the state and leadership. 
Governor Pence’s comments centered on three essential elements of leadership: servant leadership, vision and character. The book Servant Leadership by Robert Greenleaf has shaped Pence’s view of what it means to consider others to be more important than oneself. Servant leadership, according to Pence and Greenleaf, has the greatest potential for the greatest accomplishment. 
Pence also recommended the book Good to Great, a staple in business classes, saying “the most successful CEOs were all about relationships…you are at a time in your lives when you need to be deciding what kind of leaders you want to be.”  
Governor Pence's remarks were filled with nuggets of wisdom. I chose a few of my favorites to share here: 
On the Orr Fellowship: 
“There are young people in 49 states that wish they could be you.” 
On Indiana: 
“We could be that state that other states continue to look to for how it’s supposed to be done.” 
On leadership: 
"While leadership is a gift that can be given in our lives, it is also a skill that can be developed." 
On vision: 
“Vision is clearly articulated specific goals, with room for flexibility.” 
On character: 
“Please reject the notion that adversity creates character. What you are pouring into your life up until that moment of challenge is what will come out when you’re pressed.” 
Thank you to Governor Pence, Victor Smith and Eric Doden for an incredible Business Leader Meeting, and thanks to all BLM speakers for sharing your experience and insight with the Orr Fellowship. 

New Fellow Class of 2014 Kicks Off with the Pacers and Scotty's!

Monday, February 17, 2014 by Chloe Morrical
The Orr Fellow class of 2014 was given a grand welcome last Friday evening. Nearly 90 Orr Fellows gathered together at Apparatus, an Orr Fellowship host company, for introductions and ice breakers before heading to the Pacers vs. Trail Blazers game. After an exhilarating overtime victory, the group convened at Scotty’s Brewhouse for appetizers, beers and more get-to-know-you’s. 
Below is an interview with new fellow, Phil Tarnowski, regarding his first experience with the Orr fellows and his evening spent with his mentor. Phil is currently attending Indiana University and will begin working at host company pan after graduation.
1. How did you learn about the Orr Fellowship?
I worked at one of the host companies over the summer, digitalrelevance. Eric Murphy was the Orr Fellow there and told me about it. He’s my mentor now so it worked out.
2. The main purpose of the event was to meet your mentor and get to know them on a more personal level. How did initial meeting with your mentor go?
The initial meeting obviously went really well. I sat next to him at digitalrelevance and got to know him well over the summer. I hadn’t seen him since the summer so it was good to catch up with him. When he was recruiting at IU, it was a different dynamic because we were meeting on more of a professional level. 
3. You accepted your offer to become an Orr Fellow in mid-December, but this is the first event officially meeting all of the other fellows. How did you feel leading up to the event?
I was pretty excited beforehand, knowing I was going to meet people I’ll spend the next two years with. One of the board members said the Fellowship is so cool because it brings together so many like-minded individuals in the business world, so I was excited to meet people with similar thoughts yet different backgrounds.
4. What was your favorite part of the event?
The Pacers game was, it was one of the best games we could have seen. George Hill hitting that shot putting the game into overtime. It was pretty cool to get to know the fellows, hang out, and meet new people all while watching the game. It was a lot of fun.
5. What are your expectations of your overall Orr fellowship experience? Have those changed since Friday?
I wouldn't say they’ve changed at all. The reason I did the Orr Fellowship was because I wanted to be with like minded people that want to be leaders for business in the future. I wanted to work for small entrepreneurial companies rather than large conglomerates. I want to go to pan and make an impact right away, and see my ideas help the company. After meeting everyone and seeing how fun everyone is, I realize that it won’t be straight business at all. It’s great that I’ll have that group of people to go do things with.

A Family Company with Spunk: One Click Ventures

Thursday, February 13, 2014 by Austin Zartman

In May 2011, I joined the One Click family as a marketing intern with zero knowledge of e-commerce and pitifully limited work experience. Despite my meager qualifications, I was given a chance at One Click and had a phenomenal summer. After the internship, I discovered the Orr Fellowship, learned that One Click was a host company, went through the recruitment process, and was selected against all odds to join One Click as an Orr Fellow. For the longest time, I wondered why I was chosen out of a group of significantly more qualified candidates. The answer came two years later, at a Business Leader Meeting (BLM) hosted by One Click’s co-founders, Randy and Angie Stocklin.


At its heart, One Click is a family company. Randy and Angie are business partners and life partners. Some of their earliest employees were friends and family. This has developed into a culture where team members are treated like family and the office is a space that is designed to feel like home. So when I heard that One Click would be hosting a BLM at our offices, I was excited for everyone to see the place that so accurately represents One Click and shows the time and effort our co-founders have invested into the company. One Click is a place where building strong interpersonal relationships is encouraged and supported. 

We know each other’s weird facts. We eat together. We work out together. We hang out together. We cheer for each other’s successes and support each other during hardships. It’s a company where moving on to new career opportunities is treated as a celebration of a person’s professional development and with genuine happiness at their growth as an individual. Randy and Angie want each team member to succeed, even if that means it happens outside One Click’s walls.


On the day of the business leader meeting, Randy and Angie showed the Fellows our brightly-colored hallways, store-themed meeting rooms, fully-stocked café, numerous breakout areas, in-house order fulfillment center and warehouse, as well as our game room replete with astro-turf carpeting, ping pong table, billiards, foosball, and big screen TV. One Fellow commented, “Who knew a place like this exist could exist in Greenwood?” I can think of two who did. 

During the meeting, someone asked Randy about the work we do at One Click. He said, “Any number of talented people can do what we do here. It’s not a matter of finding talented people. It’s a matter of finding good people.” One Click hires not based on how someone will impact the bottom line, but how they will contribute to the One Click family. The rest works itself out. 

I believe the Fellowship operates in a similar way. How do you choose from a heap of equally talented individuals with remarkable achievements and life experiences? The answer: you choose who feels right. 

Any number of talented people can do the jobs we do at the companies we work for. But that’s not what it’s about. It’s about building a family that supports, challenges, and ultimately improves each of its members. To Randy and Angie, I was family. To me, One Click is family. The Orr Fellowship is family. And above all else, family is what matters.

The Business of Beer

Monday, January 13, 2014 by Andy Simmons
From the time I was a toddler, I can remember beer (or more broadly alcohol) being ingrained in the social fabric of society. Remember that first ball game you went to? And the shrill cry of the vendors echoing throughout the stadium: “Beer Here!”
But as recent as a few years ago, it became apparent that beer wasn’t just reserved for times of leisure; it was often a key element of doing business. From happy hours, to cocktail receptions and the three martini lunch. 
Today, it may be more like the one martini lunch, but the fact remains. And even as a candidate in during the Orr Fellowship interview process, you are exposed to the reality of alcohol in the workplace, perhaps during an on campus info session and certainly at Reception on the Circle (ROTC).
You will hear many anecdotes of business professionals picking up golf as an almost necessary “skill” to possess in conducting business. In many ways, alcohol is as much a part of the business culture as golf or similar sports.
Now, I make this comparison not to convey that one should imbibe whenever given the chance, nor to persuade those who would prefer to pass on drink to partake, but rather as a caution. Regardless of whether you drink or not, you will be confronted with situations where alcohol is present and where your guests, peers, business partners, etc. will likely be indulging.
If you choose not to drink it is important that you feel comfortable in the company of others who are and more importantly that you do not make them feel uncomfortable for choosing to drink. Alternatively, if you decide to drink it is important to observe an etiquette fitting of a business professional.
I prefer lists when I’m trying to digest something, so I’ll leave you with one from my own experience as a seasoned traveler of the trade show circuit (a veritable watering hole for the business attendee):
When to drink: If you feel or know that drinking will have a negative impact on your performance or ability to interact – DO NOT DRINK
Always in Moderation: In business, you are not out to prove your capacity to slug beers, stick to one, but certainly no more than two in an hour – and if you notice any side effects kicking in, switch to water.
Hydrate: I always drink a glass (bottle) or two of water between each drink to pace myself and stay hydrated. It’s also a good idea to be aware of how dehydrated you may be before picking up any alcoholic beverage.
Fuel up: Make sure you are not drinking on a completely empty stomach. If eating is difficult or no food is available, pay even closer attention to the amount and rate that you drink at.
No Pressure: If you aren’t a drinker, don’t feel pressured to do so, but if you are, don’t feel pressured to stop either – if you are worried about maintaining an image in a group of heavy drinkers, a tip I picked up is to simply switch to a tonic and lime or a dark soda; you can always pass it off as a mixed drink.
I hope I haven’t shared anything you don’t already know, but then again, that is the point.
Alcohol will forever and always be intertwined with business and if treated with caution and respect, it can lubricate more than just the social atmosphere, quite possibly the matter of business itself!

72 Hours in the Life of an Orr Fellow

Sunday, January 12, 2014 by Stephanie Flint
When I graduated from college, I was worried that real life might leave me feeling bored from time to time. You should know that boredom is perhaps one of my greatest fears (next to FOMO, naturally), so I was terrified at the mere thought of the uncertainty that I was entering into. A year and a half later, however, I don’t have time to be bored with the crazy mix of work, Fellowship, hobbies, and hanging out with friends that is my life. A few weeks ago I had the perfect 3 days of Fellowship, work, and trying to have a real life, so I thought I would provide a quick snapshot of what that looks like, for me at least. 
First, a bit about me, and my job:
I’m Stephanie, a second year fellow. I work at BidPal, a company that automates silent auctions and provides an event and fundraising management software for non-profits. I am an Event Consultant for BidPal, which means that I work with our clients day in and day out as they plan their fundraisers and galas. I also travel to cities across the country to manage events for our clients. 
And with that introduction, here is an example of what my life looked like a few weeks ago.


10:00 am – Client calls with a few different organizations. The goal was to wrap up event details and to answer questions about their BidPal Planner sites.
1:30 pm – Leading a product webinar for our clients.
4:00 pm – Headed downtown to prepare for the Reception on the Circle (also known as ROTC), a networking event and an integral part of our recruiting process.
7:00 pm – ROTC time! I met new candidates, caught up with others I had met earlier, and of course, ate plenty of bacon (the most famous/delicious piece of ROTC).
11:30 pm – Back at home, just in time to pack for a trip to Des Moines.


6:30 am – Boarding a plane at the Indy airport, Des Moines bound for a BidPal event! 
11:00 am – Wheels down in Des Moines.
1:00 pm – Calls with new clients, to learn about their events, and to introduce them to BidPal.
2:00 pm – Dialed in to participate in a Career Advising session  the rest of my Orr Fellowship class, since I was in Iowa.
5:00 pm – Client calls to answer last minute questions before the weekend of events.
8:00 pm – Dinner and drinks with my colleague, Kat, and a much needed break. (Finally!)


8:30 am – Work out in the hotel gym, followed by a massive and delicious breakfast.
11:00 am – Time to explore the city a bit! In Des Moines we fell in love with Raygun, found some great boutiques, and a vintage shop or two.
2:00 pm – Event time. I put on my Event Manager hat, and started to prepare for the arrival of the guests at the fundraiser we were working.
6:00 pm – Doors opened to the ballroom, and guests started to arrive.
11:30 pm – The event was officially complete, and BidPal HQ was all packed up.
11:40 pm – Dinner from the pizza place across the street from the hotel, followed very shortly by crashing in bed. #marriottbeds

MOBI to Head Into Fourth Year With the Orr Fellowship

Friday, December 6, 2013 by Host Company Insights

This post by Hannah Scott originally appeared on the MOBI Wireless Management blog. An Orr Fellowship host company, MOBI is currently hosting first-year Fellow Megan Baird. MOBI provides comprehensive Wireless Mobility Management (WMM) services. Check out the original post and the MOBI blog here. 

MOBI is proud to be apart of a special community of 27 Indiana companies that work to help develop recent college graduates. The Orr Fellowship is committed to “developing Indiana’s next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs.”

The Orr Fellowship is a two year program during which fellows are paired with a host company, like MOBI, and participate in a rotational program within the company. Fellows also participate in monthly business leader meetings to build their professional networks, group service projects, including Lemonade Day, and individual service initiatives such as serving as mentors in the Starfish Initiative.

MOBI has participated as a host company in the Orr Fellowship since 2010. We have been lucky to work with some of Indiana’s brightest young professionals. Megan Baird, MOBI’s current Orr Fellow, noted, “The Fellowship has been such an incredible and unique experience. I never would have pictured myself working in this industry but the Fellowship has opened the doors to a number of experiences that I am so grateful for. The laid-back, “work hard, play hard” culture here at MOBI is refreshing and I couldn’t have hand-picked a more perfect company to work for.”


5 Things a Future Fellow Should Know Before Finalist Day

Friday, November 22, 2013 by Nichole Clayton

It’s hard to believe just a year ago I was holding on tight and bracing myself while equally enjoying this thrilling roller coaster ride we call the Orr Fellowship Application process.  In search of this opportunity I was looking for three things.

1. A full time paid position;

2. An opportunity to grow both personally and professionally; and

3. Meet friends in my new city.

Well lucky for me and all of you who have applied….wrap it up, tie a bow, and BOOM! I present you, the Orr Fellowship.

Photo: Peter ChenPhoto: Peter Chen                         

However in hindsight there were a few things I wish I knew going into the Big Day.   Finalist Day is an exciting, exhausting, and fulfilling day of interviews and in efforts to get the most out of it there are 5 things to consider before walking through the door.

1.  Channel your inner author.

Only you can be the narrator of your story so, own it.  Be authentic, creative, and unique.  With every trial and tribulation there is a new lesson learned so use that to your advantage.

2.  Be the first to the party.

Take initiative and be noticed.  Raise your hand at the info sessions, extend a handshake at ROTC, and send a Thank You note along the way.  As an entrepreneurial fellowship we want go-getters, self-starters, and risk takers to fill the chairs.

3.  Take a deep breath.

Yes, having 4-5 interviews with different companies in one day can be quite intimidating and overwhelming but know the executives want to get to know you as much as you want to know them.  Relax; we know you are qualified because you’ve made it this far the question is… “ Where are you a perfect fit”?  As a collective whole everyone wants mutual harmony.

4.  Resist the urge to tweet.

Although social media may be ever so tempting, resist!  There are so many brilliant people among you.  Take the time to meet the current fellows.  Hiding behind your laptop or iPhone will limit your full Finalist Day experience. Remember, we were in your shoes so use us as a resource, friend, and confidant.

5.  Avoid tunnel vision.

Don’t come into the day with your heart set on a single company.  Be open to all opportunities that come your way.  Before Finalist Day and far beyond, the fellowship provides and fosters so many growth opportunities you’d be a fool to lose sight of those! Staying focused is important, but your point of focus must be on the experience not the company.

Ultimately, be yourself, enjoy the process, and know there is a method to the madness.  Good luck and we look fOrrward to meeting you!

Board of Directors Spotlight: Scott Brenton, Chairman

Thursday, November 21, 2013 by Jackson Troxel

The Orr Fellowship has eight spectacular Board Members that share their wisdom and experiences to help guide and direct our organization in developing Indiana’s next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs. Although most of the work they do is behind the scenes, we'd like to spotlight them here. 

Meet Scott Brenton, the chairman of the Orr Fellowship Board of Directors.

Current Job:

Scott is the VP of Ambulatory Services at IU Health. The Division of Ambulatory Services deals with the vast majority of health care services that take place outside of the hospital setting, such as Lifeline air transport or home health care, for example.

As an executive for one of the largest employers in the state of Indiana, Scott’s direct lines of responsibility include oversight of roughly 700 employees and $150M of business. In an industry that is under much reform, the prevailing belief throughout the health care industry is that increasingly more care will be delivered in ambulatory settings.

Seeing an amazing opportunity and challenge, his career has undergone a complete change in direction to an industry that is much different from his days of serving as the Chief Operating Officer at Angie’s List where he helped to grow the business from a start up to what it is today.

Of all the leadership roles you could take, why the Board of Directors of the Orr Fellowship?

Scott says that his involvement with the Orr Fellowship evolved like a start up evolves. He was connected to various people with similar personal & professional aims, and they had the opportunity to put their passion into action in developing the Fellowship.

Three main factors drive Scott in being involved with the Fellowship:

  • His desire to pass the gifts and opportunities  that were given to him on to others
  • His desire to bring solid, young talent to companies where he works, and to help other companies do the same
  • His desire to make Indianapolis a great hub for business and family

Of all the places you could live, why Indianapolis?  

Living in Indy is a simple decision for Scott. It comes down to his family, his values, and having a pride in where he came from. Like most people, the decision for him to live in Indianapolis is not based on the weather or the scenery!

There is also something special about being an underdog as a business hub compared some other cities that might first come to mind. But, the opportunity to make an impact is powerful— seeing the flywheel start to turn as Indy takes off and more and more businesses launch means so much more.

What keeps you busy outside of work, professionally and personally?

From his primary role as a father and husband, to additional obligations with his professional career and the community, Scott stays plenty busy. He is not someone who lives to work, but rather works so that he can enjoy life and be present in his kids’ lives.

You may find him in the dugout coaching his son’s Little League team, on the sidelines cheering at his daughter’s soccer game, attending a gymnastics event, going on a class field trip, or teaching his kids how to play euchre. He is also attends Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.

Scott also stays very active physically. As a marathoner for 10 years, Scott loves to run, but has now become an avid cyclist. He had the opportunity to travel to France this summer with his wife to witness the 100th anniversary of the Tour de France, but gave it up to coach his son’s baseball team to the district championship.

Professionally, Scott serves as the chairman of the Board of Directors for the Orr Fellowship, as you already know. But, he is also acts as the Finance Chairman for his former Greek Fraternity at Purdue University, Sigma Chi. Additionally, he is a Board Member for Pellegrino & Associates and Beltway Surgery Centers. Scott also gets a lot of personal fulfillment from informally advising a number of Indy start up companies.

Best career advice, in 25 words or less.  

Surround yourself with great people and take risks to be a part of the biggest areas of change and growth within your company.


Orr Fellowship Gathers for Evening of Hors d'oeuvres, Cocktails, & Networking

Monday, November 11, 2013 by Bo Dietrick

Members of the Orr Fellowship had the opportunity to participate in a now long-standing tradition on the evening of Friday October 18th. Host company representatives, board members, and Fellowship alumni gathered for an upscale evening of casual conversation, featuring drinks and hors d'oeuvres. This has become a yearly autumn tradition, thanks in part to the gracious hosts Mark and Karen Hill. 

Individuals involved with the Fellowship and still living in the Indianapolis area were able to network together over lavish foods provided by the Bridgewater Club. Photos, music, and more made this a memorable evening for all who attended. While this event is only a small perk to membership in the Orr Fellowship, attendees always appreciate an evening of private conversation away from the work environment.

Events such as these continue to strengthen the working relationships that exist within Indianapolis's thriving community of tech companies and start-ups. The Orr Fellowship provides an incredibly strong and diverse network of individuals who are committed to the continued growth of the Indianapolis economy. 

The Orr Fellowship would like to thank hosts Mark and Karen Hill, and all involved in the planning and execution of such a successful event.


Always Go to the Marathon

Thursday, November 7, 2013 by Nichole Clayton

Time and time again I find myself re-reading the 2005 “Always Go to The Funeral” article by Deirdre Sullivan.  If you haven’t yet read it, do it now and if you have, do it again. This powerful article explores this relevant and ever so true idea that the “real battle is doing good versus doing nothing”.   As a self-proclaimed too busy to breathe, always wanting to do more, overachieving and overbooking, average Millennial the article prompts me to step back and think.  Do I make time to do good?  Sure, I volunteer at local organizations, I give change to the poor, and I try to call my grandmother once a week, but these aren’t the ‘little inconveniences’ Deirdre Sullivan is talking about, are they?  

So what is she talking about and how is this relevant to the Orr Fellowship, you ask?  Well simply put: I am constantly reminded, prompted, and pushed by my peers to ‘Go To the Funeral’.  This past weekend after a Friday evening of fun I was corralled by a couple of Fellows to rise and shine on the beautiful fall Saturday morning and join them on the tenth mile marker of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon route.

With my bed calling my name and my head was telling me just to sleep a little longer; I silenced the temptation, gathered my things, and headed to the corner of 54th & Washington.  It was then, when I realized I have joined a group of individuals of unprecedented caliber. With a sign, stating, “You are really doing it & it is inspiring!” in hand we cheered, applaud, and high-fived the participants as they ran by. Watching their eyes light up, their ever so determined faces sneak a grin, and hearing their heavy breathed ‘thank yous’ made every minute of my decision worth it.  The unspoken stories of passion, devotion, and perseverance told by their body language are some things I will never forget. 

The point is, just when I could have done nothing, I was challenged to do good and lucky for me I have my peers to thank for that.   So now I challenge you to go to your own version of the ‘Funeral’, mine was the Marathon, what will yours be?

The Power of the Personal Touch

Monday, November 4, 2013 by Bo Dietrick

College students are conditioned today in the belief that, upon graduation, their education stops and the productivity work begins. This could not be farther from the truth. Throughout my two years in the workplace following a great undergraduate experience at Purdue University, I've found that I can learn more throughout daily experiences than I ever did sitting in a lecture hall. The key is to be open for learning moments. They really can be found anywhere. The obvious is learning from mistakes, which can happen A LOT for young professionals. Learning from observation of the example others set is important, as well. Leaders can very often be those individuals who can teach through the example they set.

I'd like to share a personal story from an experience I had recently. I will omit names out of respect for those we shall discuss, but a small bit of research is all it would take to learn more. But before we get too deep into this story, let's start with an admission that we, as people, can often experience. Especially for young people, it is human nature to look at how others run an organization and think to ourselves, "well if it was me, this is how I would do it." But the simple truth is that it's not us! Only 1-in-a-million young people rocket up the corporate ladder into leadership positions at an early age, and that's because experience counts for a whole lot. So, I'll go back to my earlier point: We have so much to learn from business leaders simply because they've seen a thing or two. CEO's did not get where they are today by sitting around. They observed, they learned, and they adapted to become the people that they are today.

So, that leads us to our story, and it is a lesson in leadership tactics rarely seen anymore. This tactic is called the personal touch. A few weeks back, I was waiting in an airport terminal for my flight. I'm ashamed to admit that I fell into the majority of us who now spend all of our free time looking down at our phones, but I'll get off my soapbox. I was taken aback moments later when someone called out my name. I looked up, and it was none other than the CEO of the company I work for. Let's get the score straight really quick: This was the middle-aged CEO of a multi-million dollar software company, publicly traded, and recently acquired for a dollar amount that fell in the billions. He saw a 25-year-old lower-level employee who, while we have spoken on occasion in the past, rarely has the opportunity to interact with members of the E-level. What progressed must have been quite an odd picture to the casual passerby as I spoke for about 5-minutes with an individual nearly at celebrity-status in his home city. 

We chatted small talk and went our separate ways, but here are the finer points to be noted: 

1) I was greeted by name,

2) I was greeted with a smile.

3) We shared a friendly handshake.

4) He was equally interested in what I was doing, as I was him. (I happened to be going to a film festival, which he found fascinating.) 

Now those are only some main bullet points to taken away from the conversation but here's the kicker: SINCERITY. So often today, we run into people who go through the motions. Fake smile, questions they don't care about, ignoring answers. You've met these people. While this was only a small gesture from a man I already greatly admired and looked up to, I then reflected through the entirety of my flight on what that personal touch means to a business or organization. Leaders are in the position they are to INSPIRE GREATNESS. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Leaders who get down to the level of their employees build trust, passion, and the desire to succeed. These were all thoughts that raced through my head in the days following that ever-important interaction. 

We never spoke a word of business, so many would say that the encounter meant very little. But I disagree. Something tells me that every person this individual interacts with walks away more fired up to do what they do than ever before. So the key lesson is this: No matter where you sit in an organization, put others before yourself. Care about your co-workers and be outgoing enough that they know that. No one is the exception to this theory. Leaders don't have to be dictators or play the bad guy to inspire their employees. It's a great time to be a part of a team, and it comes from the power of the personal touch.


Current Fellow: Second-Year Branden Burke

Thursday, October 31, 2013 by Fellow Stories

What is your current job (Where do you work, how long you’ve been there, what you do?)

I am currently a project manager for Ingram Micro specializing as a construction/owners representative. Ingram Micro is the world's largest wholesale technology distributor and a global leader in IT supply-chain, mobile device lifecycle services and logistics solutions. My role for the last year had been primarily focused on our consumer division, as I worked close with our business development and marketing teams to define, develop, and implement initiatives including sales tools, lead generation, client presentations and responses. Recently, I oversaw all construction and facility modifications on a $17.9 million dollar new dedicated global distribution hub for a tech giant, and now managing a $3.5 million dollar corporate office buildout in New York.

What was college like for you? (Majors/minors, student orgs, internships, study abroad, etc)

At my alma mater, Purdue University, I was involved in a variety of activities within and outside of my major, Building Construction Management. I was involved in student organizations right away and became president of a construction organization and later became the lead coordinator for Building Construction Management's own peer mentoring program, BCMentors. Student by day, University Resident by night, I was always mentoring and leading students around me. My network began to build with both my peers and professors, which landed me summer internship opportunities in Dayton, OH and downtown Chicago, IL. I was also given the opportunity to travel, tour, and work in the Middle East on a multi-billion dollar project. From mentoring underclassmen to traveling the globe, I could not have imagined my college years any less involved.

Why did you choose the Orr Fellowship?  

I chose to become an Orr Fellow because of the unique opportunities it could provide. I am someone who likes to challenge the status quo and looked at the Orr Fellowship as that opportunity to do something unique, unconventional, and to gain experience and knowledge that no one could ever take away from me. The only way to make two years of your professional career so impactful and memorable is to fill it with excitement, involvement, and good people. I saw all of that and more in the Orr Fellowship.

What keeps you busy outside of work, professionally and personally?

Outside work I enjoy being active with friends and family, enjoying a great meal from my kitchen or a local eatery, and then relaxing over a bowl of ice cream.

The best career advice you have ever received…
The best career advice I have ever received lead me to accept the fellowship. I will never forget my conversation with my closest professor. He stated, “You never know when you will stumble upon something great. You just have to take the chance and see what happens. No matter what, at the end of it, it will be something that no one could ever take away from you.”

For someone looking for a job in my field I would recommend to not to be afraid to take risks; now is the time to do it!

A big career achievement for me was in my short first year, successfully turning over a half a million square foot facility for Ingram Micro and hearing that our customer and company executives were pleased with the result.

If I could grab a cup of coffee with anyone it would be Steve Jobs.

A blog I love is Mashable. I love staying up to date on all things tech and news for our connected generation.

My favorite leadership quote is “The best way to predict your future is to create it” - Honest Abe - Abraham Lincoln

My favorite app is I am all about Spotify, I always have music playing in my life.

People tell me I look like Ashton Kutcher. Maybe?

Right now I am drinking water out of my Purdue glass! Boiler Up!

On my bucket list is to take an international trip with my family.

A talent I wish I had to play the piano or have any rhythm at all.

Something most people don’t know about me is that I once starred in a four-month musical production.


Thursday, October 31, 2013 by Steve Harton

There are several things that draw young go-getters to the Orr fellowship. For some, it’s the impressive pool of high-growth host companies that fellows are lucky enough to work for on a day-to-day basis. For others, it’s attending monthly Business Leader Meetings (BLMs), and receiving guidance and mentorship from the higher-ups in our community. I could go on forever about different appeals that fellows value most in their two year experience; however, the one I would like to focus on today is the overall theme of TeamwOrrk.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my Orr Fellowship experience, and I have only been active in it and working for just over 4 months. My favorite experiences to date are the following: the summer retreat, the Warrior Dash, the fall break trip to the Pocono Mountains, intramural sports, basketball at Apparatus, the case competition, and I am sure there is even more I am leaving out. As I have tried to discover what I intrinsically enjoy and am passionate about, I have looked at these kind of events to see if there is a common variable. After my personal analysis, I just really enjoy forming teams with fellows and getting to know each other on a deeper level than simply small-talking in a giant room.  The small-talk is important and helpful, but you can only learn so much about someone in that specific atmosphere.

I fully appreciate the professional guidance and career opportunities I have received as an Orr Fellow, and for that I am grateful; however, I had no idea it was possible to experience this professional growth while having so much fun at the same time… Whether it is knocking out an important project for a host company, or simply playing a game of basketball with fellows, all my best times have revolved around working on a team. I can confidently say now… it wasn’t until the last 4 months, I thought I had the answer to what truly makes the dream work, and that’s TeamwOrrk.